Workplace kitchens are no longer places to just make a brew or store sandwiches. The growth in flexible working, bring your own device (BYOD) and collaborative working means company break rooms are becoming much more than ‘worktop, fridge and kettle’.
For informal team meetings, a chat over lunch or a change of scenery, office kitchens nowadays are often designed as multi-purpose spaces. Open plan offices mean people need different rooms to retreat to for quiet working or informal meetings – and employers are responding with a variety of comfortable, easy to use spaces in the kitchen.
For an office kitchen that ticks the right boxes, here are six elements for making this space a runaway success:
- Lounge area
Providing somewhere for people to relax, have one to one chats or give informal presentations can help drive collaboration, creativity and engagement. An alternative to the more formal setting of some meeting rooms, comfortable seating can help people relax, be more open and build more constructive relationships.
Lounge seating should help to maximise flexibility and collaboration, with the personality of the business front of mind when choosing seating fabric, coffee tables and tub chairs.
- Bistro furniture
No kitchen seating area is complete without stylish tables and chairs for working and eating. High gloss round bistro tables can bring style and functionality to the kitchen environment, with four leg wire base breakout chairs, chrome leg, aluminium and folding chairs just some of the options available for seating.
- Coffee machines
Coffee machines are literally bringing more flavour to the workplace. High street cafes and home coffee machines offer a much higher quality of coffee than a decade or so ago, which means our expectations have risen and 48% of us are now drinking fresh coffee.
Around half of all office workers are said to go out to buy coffee from a shop or coffee bar, if good coffee isn’t available on site, so a decent coffee maker can be key to keeping people happy and engaged.
Bean to cup coffee machines can cater for up to 100 people, make numerous different cafe style drinks and include water filters for even higher quality water.
- Drinks and snacks
The better stocked the work kitchen is with snacks and drinks, the better environment an office presents for motivation and encouragement. Herbal and fruit teas, bottled water, biscuits, sweets and fruit juices are just some of the options that can be ordered wholesale and generally have a good shelf life, if they last that long!
Freestanding and table or counter top water coolers can suit a variety of spaces in office kitchens, enabling people to access great tasting, clean, cold water throughout the day.
- Whiteboards and flipcharts
Large kitchen areas can be easily optimised as meeting spaces if whiteboards or wall mounted flip charts are provided. Ensure there is a ready stock of dry wipe marker pens, whiteboard cleaners and spare paper.
- Keeping clean
It won’t hurt to keep a stock of hand wipes and surface wipes out on a counter top to encourage people to sanitise their hands before and after eating and use disposable kitchen wipes to clean up after themselves or mop up any small spills.
For more interesting content, don’t forget to follow VOW Europe on Twitter: www.twitter.com/voweurope